Weeknotes: 50.2015 – asking the right questions about collecting filmed memories, brownies, US #musetech tour end

On December 17th, 2015, posted in: weeknotes by

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There will be something up next week, but this is the last full weeknotes of the year. Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and New Year, whatever you are doing.

Laura has been conducting a bit of design research for the National Museum of American Jewish History, exploring the opportunities and challenges of family story collecting. She says:

“Since the Museum’s opening in 2010, NMAJH has recorded 15,000 visitor stories in the It’s Your Story video story booth in its core exhibition.  The museum is looking to build on the success of IYS and our design research is supporting the development of a prototype for It’s Your Story 2.0, a national storytelling initiative aimed at collecting, preserving, and sharing video family stories from around the United States.

Design research is often about identifying the right questions or design challenges at the heart of a project and in this case designing a story collecting platform for an audience outside the museum means exploring questions like:  

  • How do we preserve our memories?
  • What motivates people to create and share personal stories? What are the barriers and challenges?
  • What makes for engaging user-contributed videos? Are these remembrances or slices of life (the super 8 films of the digital age)?
  • What makes individual personal stories relevant to a wider audience?

Insights into these questions will allow us to define the heart of the new platform. Audience interviews will help us understand user behaviors and perceptions, particularly how the target audience currently creates and consumes personal videos. We’re currently working on a bit of market research looking at existing story collecting tools, genealogy sites and apps for video creation.  Not surprisingly, the audio and video recording capabilities of smartphones and their popularity have clearly suggested an opportunity to organisations and developers. The result has been many apps for capturing family memories but (with the notable exception of StoryCorps) few have gained any traction. For me, this confirms that the primary challenge is one of user experience design, not technology.

We’re also looking for examples of museum projects with user-contributed video content. That’s where you come in. Has your museum solicited user-created videos from the public (outside of a museum visit)?  Let us know via email or twitter @lhmann and we’re happy to share the list of projects. “

My epic write up of my epic tour of US east coast museums has reach its conclusion on my blog. You can now read Part Three on the quite incredibly huge and beautiful Connected Worlds at the New York Hall of Science and the Brooklyn Museum Ask app. Thanks once again to everyone who helped out with suggestions for the trip, still have some left over for next time…

Those on our mailing list may be thinking about chocolate and cognac and chestnuts this morning as our specially commissioned Dan Lepard Christmas recipe arrived in their inbox. We decided to do that and a donation to the amazing MOAS (the Migrant Offshore Aid Station) instead of a card and party this year. If you feel you ought to have been on our mailing list but weren’t, let us know and we’ll add you and send you the recipe. If you have the recipe, show us your efforts on #FGWBrownieChallenge (on Twitter or Instagram). Enjoy!



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